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8 Best Ibanez Classical Guitars For Musicians

ibanez classical guitars

Best Ibanez Classical Guitars For Beginners

Ibanez classical guitars are a household name for guitar players. It is a prominent brand, particularly known for its diverse range of guitars. Acoustic or electric, Ibanez has garnered a reputation for producing instruments of consistent quality and innovative design from its establishment in 1908. Though famed for their electric guitar lineup, Ibanez classical guitar models are nothing to scoff at either.

Whether you’re seeking a nylon guitar for classical repertoire, flamenco, or other styles, Ibanez offers a variety of models to suit different preferences. From entry-level instruments to high-end professional options, Ibanez classical guitars are aesthetically pleasing and musically rewarding. Among them, these are the best models.

Before jumping in, check out the best classical guitar here!

The Ibanez TOD10N Tim Henson Signature

The Ibanez TOD10N Tim Henson Signature Nylon Acoustic-Electric Guitar is a remarkable instrument that embodies a unique blend of modern playability and classic style.

Image By Ibanez

Key Features

Nylon String with Electric Feel

The TOD10N combines classical guitar elements like a nylon string setup with the playability of an electric guitar. It features a narrow, electric-style neck and a shallow body depth, making it comfortable for electric guitar players.

Versatile for Modern Styles

This guitar suits various playing styles, from flamenco to metal, thanks to its 22-fret, single-cutaway design and semi-hollow body construction. It’s ideal for modern guitarists who demand versatility.

Stylish Design

The TOD10N stands out with its “Tree of Death” inlay and Transparent Black Flat finish, complemented by pearloid binding. It’s a visually striking instrument that reflects Tim Henson’s unique style.

Tim Henson Signature Model

As Henson’s signature guitar, it’s tailored to his specifications, including D’Addario XTC45 strings, making it a great choice for fans and players seeking a guitar with a professional touch.

High-Quality Electronics

Equipped with a Fishman Sonicore pickup and Ibanez AEQ210TF preamp, the guitar offers excellent amplified sound quality, complete with onboard EQ for sound shaping.

Ibanez GA1 Mahogany Nylon String Guitar

The Ibanez GA1 is an entry-level classical guitar designed with simplicity and affordability in mind.

Image by Ibanez Guitars

Key Features

Construction

The GA1 features a spruce top and meranti back and sides. The neck of the GA1 is made from mahogany, and The fingerboard and bridge are constructed from rosewood. These materials are commonly used in entry-level classical guitars, offering a balance between affordability and decent tonal characteristics.

Body Shape

The GA1 follows the classical body shape, characterized by a wide, flat top and a narrower waist. This design contributes to the instrument’s balanced sound projection and comfortable playability.

Want to know more about guitar body shape? Click here

Scale Length

The scale length of the GA1 is standard for classical guitars, providing the familiar spacing between frets that classical players are accustomed to.

Hardware

The GA1 is equipped with open-gear tuners, which are simple and effective for maintaining tuning stability.

Aesthetics

The GA1 features a simple, unadorned appearance, which is typical for entry-level classical guitars. It has a natural finish, allowing the wood’s grain to show through.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • One of the key features of the GA1 is its affordability. It is priced competitively, making it an accessible option for beginners or players on a budget.
  • Despite its affordability, the GA1 is constructed with decent quality materials, ensuring durability and longevity.
  • While it may not rival higher-end models, the GA1 delivers a respectable tone, suitable for practice and basic performance.
  • The GA1 is a suitable choice for those new to classical guitar playing, offering a user-friendly instrument for initial learning and practice. While primarily intended for classical music, the GA1 can also be used for other acoustic styles, broadening its versatility.

Cons

  • Being a beginner’s guitar, it lacks some of the advanced features found in more expensive models, such as built-in electronics or premium hardware.
  •  Like any mass-produced guitar, there is a chance that individual units may require some adjustments or setup to achieve optimal playability.

Ibanez GA2 Natural Nylon-String

The Ibanez GA2 is a classical guitar designed to offer a comfortable playing experience and a pleasing tone.

Image by Ibanez Guitar

Key Features

Classic Design

The GA2 features a traditional classical guitar shape with a flat top and a round sound hole, presenting a timeless aesthetic.

Comfortable Neck Profile

The neck of the GA2 is designed for ease of playability, allowing for smooth chord changes and intricate fingerpicking.

Sound Projection

The GA2 offers a well-balanced projection, making it suitable for both solo playing and ensemble settings.

Affordability

It is often considered an entry-level or beginner’s classical guitar, providing an accessible option for those looking to start their musical journey.

Explore our list of classical guitars for beginners here

Durability

Ibanez is known for its quality craftsmanship, and the GA2 is built to withstand the demands of regular playing.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Well-suited for classical music
  • Despite its size, it offers respectable sound projection
  • The neck profile and fretboard are designed for ease of play

Cons

  • Lower variety of tonewoods to choose from

Ibanez GA34STCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar With Case

The Ibanez GA34STCE is a classical guitar that embodies a harmonious fusion of classic craftsmanship and modern design elements.

Image by Ibanez Guitars

Key Features

Cutaway Design

The GA34STCE incorporates a single cutaway design, allowing easier access to higher frets, which can be particularly beneficial for players who engage in lead playing or complex chord voicings.

Onboard Electronics

Equipped with a Fishman Sonicore pickup and Ibanez AEQ210TF preamp, the GA34STCE offers reliable amp options for live performances or recording.

Gold Classical Tuners

The gold-plated classical tuners not only add a touch of visual elegance but also ensure stable and precise tuning.

Dovetail Neck Joint

The dovetail neck joint, a hallmark of quality craftsmanship, contributes to the guitar’s structural integrity and resonance.

High Gloss Finish

The high-gloss finish not only enhances the guitar’s visual appeal but also provides protection and contributes to the resonance of the instrument.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Features an elegant classical design with attention to aesthetic details
  • The integrated tuner ensures convenient and accurate tuning
  • It’s versatile and suitable for various musical genres and playing styles, including classical, flamenco, and more contemporary styles.

Cons

  • The electronics may be sensitive to interference or external factors, potentially leading to issues with sound quality or unwanted noise.

Ibanez GA35TCE

Similar to the GA34STCE, the Ibanez GA35TCE is a classical guitar designed to offer a blend of traditional craftsmanship with modern features.

Images By Ibanez

Key Features

Body Design

The GA35TCE features a classical body shape characterized by a wide lower bout and a narrower upper bout. This design contributes to a balanced tone and a comfortable playing experience.

Cutaway Design

The larger cutaway compared to the GA34STCE allows for easier access to higher frets, enhancing playability, especially for soloists or those who venture into the upper register.

Top Wood

The guitar typically boasts a spruce top, known for its tonal clarity. This choice of tonewood influences the guitar’s overall sound projection.

Onboard Electronics

The “CE” in GA35TCE signifies its inclusion of a built-in preamp and pickup system. The preamp typically includes controls for volume, bass, and treble adjustments, providing flexibility in shaping the amplified sound to suit different playing environments.

Explore more about guitar preamp

Finish Options

Ibanez offers the GA35TCE in a range of finish options, including natural, sunburst, and more, allowing players to choose an aesthetic that suits their preferences.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Sapele back and sides offer a full-bodied and warm mid-range and a bright tone
  • The slim, comfortable neck profile facilitates smooth and effortless playability
  • Features an elegant rosette and binding, adding a touch of visual appeal to the instrument’s overall design.

Cons

  • Players with a strong preference for specific tonal characteristics found in traditional classical guitars might find its sound profile less to their liking.
  • Some users have reported the need for periodic intonation adjustments

Ibanez GA3

The Ibanez GA3 is designed to provide an entry point into the world of classical guitar playing, offering reliable construction and tonal characteristics that meet the needs of novice and intermediate players alike.

Image by Ibanez Guitars

Key Features

Construction

The GA3 features a top crafted from spruce. The back and sides of the GA3 are constructed from meranti, the neck is nato mahogany, and the fretboard is nandu wood.

Body Shape

The GA3 features a traditional full-sized classical guitar body with a scale length of 650mm. 

Tuners

The GA3 is equipped with classical-style chrome tuning machines designed for precise tuning stability.

Overall Aesthetic

The GA3 exhibits a classic and understated design, suitable for players who appreciate simplicity and functionality.

Affordability

One of its primary features is affordability, making it accessible to beginners and budget-conscious players.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Its comfortable neck profile and well-finished frets allow for easy finger movement
  • With a standard 25.6-inch scale length, it’s ideal for beginners to practice
  • Equipped with reliable tuning machines, it maintains consistent tuning, reducing the need for frequent adjustments.

Cons

  • It primarily uses laminated spruce for the top, which doesn’t offer the same tonal depth and complexity as solid wood.

Ibanez GA5TCE

Like other Ibanez classical guitars, the Ibanez GA5TCE is a popular classical guitar known for its affordability and playability, which also features built-in electronics.

Image by Ibanez Guitars

Key Features

Construction

The GA5TCE boasts a well-crafted body with a spruce top and sapele back and sides. This combination of tonewoods provides a balanced tonal profile.

Body Profile

Its slim body profile makes it comfortable to hold and play, making it suitable for extended playing sessions.

Onboard Electronics

One of the standout features is the built-in Ibanez AEQ-202T preamp with a 2-band EQ, which provides amplified sound options for live performances and recording.

Built-In Tuner

The onboard tuner is a convenient feature for ensuring accurate tuning, especially in live performance settings.

Attractive Aesthetics

With its natural finish and rosette detailing, the GA5TCE has a simple yet appealing aesthetic.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The GA5TCE provides a budget-friendly option for those looking for a quality classical guitar without breaking the bank.
  • The Ibanez Undersaddle Pickup accurately reproduces the acoustic nature of the bass.
  • The AEQ-2T preamp is specifically designed to adjust the frequencies of bass and treble and allows the operation of the built-in tuner without the instrument being plugged in.

Cons

  • The cutaway design and inclusion of electronics may not appeal to players seeking a more traditional or vintage aesthetic in their classical guitar.

Ibanez GA6CE

The Ibanez GA6CE is another versatile and well-crafted classical guitar of the Ibanez series. It balances traditional tonal qualities associated with classical guitars alongside modern features like electronics.

Image by Ibanez Guitars

Key Features

Quality Tonewoods

It is constructed with a spruce top, which delivers clear tones, and sapele back and sides, providing warmth and depth to the mid-range.

Cutaway Design

The GA6CE features a single-cutaway design, providing easy access to higher frets.

Onboard Electronics

The GA6CE is equipped with an Ibanez under-saddle pickup alongside an Ibanez AEQ-2T preamp w/Onboard tuner.

Comfortable Neck Profile

The mahogany neck with a comfortable classical profile ensures a smooth playing experience, facilitating chords and intricate fingerstyle playing.

Versatility

The combination of classical design elements with modern electronics gives the GA6CE versatility, making it suitable for various musical genres and playing styles.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The control knobs for volume, tone, and any other features on the onboard electronics are usually conveniently located, making adjustments easy during live performances.
  • It’s built to withstand the rigors of regular playing and transportation.
  • Typically features an aesthetically pleasing design with quality finishes and detailing.

Cons

  • As an entry-level model, it may not meet the standards of more advanced players.

Ibanez FRH10N

The Ibanez FRH10N is a unique and affordable guitar that stands apart from the crowd. It’s not your typical nylon string, nor is it your standard electric axe. Instead, it bridges the gap between these two worlds, offering a blend of traditional nylon warmth with modern electric playability and aesthetics.

Ibanez FRH10N
Image from Ibanez

Key Features

Hybrid Design

This guitar blurs the line between a classical nylon-string guitar and an electric guitar, offering a unique hybrid design.

Electric Guitar Body and Neck

The body and neck design has the narrow width of an electric guitar, contributing to a modern aesthetic and potentially more familiar playability for electric guitar players.

Electronics and Amplification

Equipped with advanced electronics, the FRH10N can be easily amplified, making it suitable for live performances and various genres beyond classical music.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The electric guitar-like design might appeal to players who are more accustomed to electric guitars, offering a comfortable transition.
  • The built-in electronics make it ideal for performances, providing clear sound when amplified.
  • Its modern design is visually appealing, making it a striking instrument on stage.

Cons

  • No case included: The Ibanez FRH10N does not come with a case. This is a bit of a bummer, as you will need to purchase a case separately.

Various components of classical guitar explained

Classical guitars, also known as nylon-string or Spanish guitars, consist of various components, each contributing to the instrument’s sound, playability, and aesthetics. The main components of a classical guitar are:

Headstock

The headstock is located at the top of the guitar and houses the tuning pegs (machine heads) used to adjust the tension of the strings, allowing the player to tune the guitar to the desired pitch.

Know everything about guitar tuning pegs by clicking here.

Nut

The nut is a small, often white, piece at the top of the neck. It guides the strings to their respective tuning pegs, maintaining proper spacing and tension. It’s an essential part of the guitar’s string alignment and intonation.

Neck

The neck extends from the headstock to the body and is where the player’s left-hand presses down on the strings to produce different notes. Classical guitar necks are typically wider and flatter compared to steel-string or electric guitars.

Fretboard (or Fingerboard)

The fretboard is a flat surface mounted on the neck. It’s typically made of wood, often rosewood or ebony. It contains frets, which are the metal strips that divide the fretboard into segments, allowing the player to change the pitch of the strings.

Check out here if you are having trouble restringing your guitar. 

Frets

Frets are thin metal strips embedded in the fretboard. Pressing a string against a fret shortens its vibrating length, which in turn changes the pitch. Players place their fingers on different frets to produce various notes and chords.

Inlays

Inlays are decorative markers, often dots or other shapes, on the fretboard. They help the player orient themselves and find specific positions on the fretboard.

Body

The body is the main resonance chamber of the guitar and consists of the top (soundboard), back, and sides. Classical guitar bodies are typically smaller and feature a hollow design to enhance acoustic projection and resonance.

Soundhole

The soundhole is a circular opening on the top of the guitar’s body. It allows air to move in and out of the body, creating resonance and amplifying the sound produced by the strings.

Bridge

The bridge is located on the top of the guitar’s body, directly beneath the sound hole. It anchors the strings and transmits their vibrations to the soundboard. Classical guitar bridges are often made of wood, and the strings are tied to bridge ties or secured with bridge pins.

Saddle

The saddle is a small strip located on the bridge, where the strings make contact. It helps maintain proper string spacing and break angle, which affects string tension and the transfer of vibrations to the soundboard.

Rosette

The rosette is a decorative ring around the sound hole. It adds aesthetic appeal to the guitar and is often made of various materials, including wood, shell, or other decorative elements.

Body Binding and Purfling

Binding and purfling are decorative elements that provide a finishing touch to the guitar’s body. Binding is usually located along the edges of the top and back, while purfling is a decorative border within the binding.

Strings

Classical guitars are strung with nylon strings, which are typically softer and easier on the fingers than steel strings. The treble strings (the top three) are typically plain nylon, while the bass strings (the bottom three) have a nylon core wound with metal (usually silver or bronze).

Reason to pick Ibanez

Ibanez classical guitar models are made paying meticulous attention to the construction and design. The brand’s dedication to affordability without compromising on quality makes Ibanez classical guitars accessible to a wide audience. Overall, an Ibanez classical guitar is a reliable choice for players seeking a blend of tradition and innovation in their musical endeavors.

Ordering from Guitar Center and Musicians Friend

Guitar Center and Musicians Friend offers free shipping across the United States and other selective countries. You can find beginner guitars, bass guitars, amps, and other musical accessory. You will find a great collection starting from straps and picks to effect and pedals. You will also find bundle packages. 

Ibanez Classical Guitars FAQ

Rafsan Ahmed

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